Christmas and Traditions

It’s February and I’m still blogging about Christmas but I want to get it done and move on. Like many other friends I have we did our little elf on the shelf tradition for the second year. The kids were a little more excited this year. I was to after seeing lots of ideas for it. There were only two or three nights when Franklin our elf forgot to move and boy were the kids annoyed by that. Luckily Daddy saved the day and helped move him while we were out of the house. This will be a tradition we keep around for a while.

To focus on the true meaning of Christmas I made an advent tree with little boxes for each day with a scripture and an activity. It went really well for about eight days. Then one day while giving a piano lesson Holly and JD took it and emptied all of the boxes. Paper and little boxes everywhere. And thus ended the advent tree. I was too annoyed to put it back together. I’ll try again next year!

The kids wrote Santa a letter Christmas Eve with milk and cookies. And Santa replied, drank the milk and ate some cookies. Luckily Santa wrapped and had everything ready so we didn’t have to stay up too late. Holly and JD’s dreams came true with their gifts from Santa, mommy and daddy and they even bought each other something. It was a fun morning.

After opening presents at Grandma and Poppy’s we headed back home to shower and enjoy some of our toys. We went back to Grandma and Poppy’s to enjoy a lovely Christmas dinner, watch movies and play with toys!

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Run Run Rudolph

Holly and JD have been in a little fun dance class since the beginning of September. It’s been fun to spend one morning a week with little friends. For our ward Christmas show their class and a few other dancers from the ward were asked to do a little number for the variety show that evening. They prepared for a couple weeks before the big day and in prepping the kids, Jim and I bribed wanted to reward them with a cool prize. They each picked something they would want if they went on stage and danced. I thought this was a big deal, and I guess shame on me for not having much confidence they would do it. Boy were we wrong and we have video evidence to prove it. Now we have to follow through with our end of the deal.

Holly and JD’s reindeer dance from Liz Hopkins on Vimeo.

Near the end, when Jim covers the microphone, Holly says to the kids on the stairs, “guys, stop.” She also giggled through much of the performance, she must take after her mom. And JD gets the choreography down pretty good! I grin ear to ear every time I watch it.

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Baby Nora Jane

My new favorite hobby: taking pictures of my friends minutes after they welcome their new baby into the world. My friend Marie and her husband Kurt have two cute boys and just welcomed a little girl into the family. Being in the room to capture the moment when the boys met their sister for the first time was so special and sweet. Marie looked amazing and I loved seeing her hold her baby girl. Thanks Marie for sharing your special day. Your family is beautiful!


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He’s All Grown Up

We’ve been to two graduations this year, Matt’s from BYU and most recently Johnny’s from Concord High. High school graduations are always funny to listen to. I guess the high schooler’s motto is YOLO, “you only live once”. I must be really out of the loop because I’d never heard the song they were all referring to. I’m more familiar with “YoHo, Let’s Go.” (name that person).


Anyway, the whole thing was nice. We yelled for all of the Mormon kids we knew and then it ended. The kids were pretty good because of the snacks I brought and the suckers Grandma brought. We were happy when it was over and then we had to wait, and wait and wait for John to come meet us. After the ceremony they made the graduates go pick up their diplomas, not sure why they don’t just mail them. John eventually came and we snapped a few pictures. Way to go John, on to bigger and better things at BYU-I!

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Sweat Is Good

I just got back from morning exercise to find Jim awake and both of my kids in our bed sound asleep. I exercised with some ladies from church and my mother in law who runs the show. She knows how to kick some butt, let me tell you. I brought up the rear with most, okay maybe every, exercise but it felt really good to sweat and get my heart going. As Lanette would say, my heart thanks me for that.

My family is doing a weight loss challenge for the next three months. I’m participating. There are just a few extra pounds that I need to get rid of. So I need to start exercising and probably eat a little better. Here’s to losing some weight and getting my summer clothes to fit!

As I was trying to keep up with the other gals and I was pushing myself harder I thought about how good our bodies are. How we can push our bodies to do so much more than we really do. I haven’t been running in so long and during those sprints and jogs around the chapel I could really feel it. I found that if I told myself I could do it, I did. I thought about how just one month ago I had surgery and how my body is healing. And it’s okay if I’m behind the pack, the important thing is I’m there and trying to be healthy. At least today my body thanks me for that. Talk to me tomorrow when I’m sore.

Here’s to being healthy and fit.

P.s the pictures have nothing to do with the post but what’s a post without some pictures.

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Joining The Club

It’s not exactly a club that you want to be in but here I am joining my mom and my sister in the no thyroid club. About eight years ago I had thyroid problems. I couldn’t stay awake for a single movie, I lost a lot of weight, was always cold and had a bump on my thyroid. Everything was made better with some radioactive iodine and I was good to go. Fast forward a few years when my sister found out she had thyroid cancer and then a couple more years when my mom found out she had the same thing, and then one more year is where I come in. I just wasn’t feeling right. Gaining weight too quickly, losing my hair and chipping fingernails. I found a good doctor who referred me to a great surgeon, set a date to have my thyroid removed and planned for my mom to come help us out. The kids loved having Grandma Raab here and I only wished she was visiting under more fun circumstances. She did so much for us around the house and helping entertain the kids when I couldn’t. She definitely wiped more than her fair share of butts while she was here too!

Surgery went well and I wasn’t nervous one bit. In fact my blood pressure was low going into surgery which made it even lower coming out of surgery. I had a hard time coming out of surgery, Jim said because I had three years of sleep to catch up on. I had to stay in the hospital over night and was hoping it would be the perfect opportunity to get a good nights sleep but I felt lousy and had to take medication every four hours. Jim came and stayed with me the next morning until I was released and when I got home I was greeted with a nice made up bed on the couch with two little cuties waiting for me.


It was hard to say goodbye to my mom and just as hard to have Jim go back to work after she left. The kids didn’t like it either. Three weeks later I feel great, in fact I already feel better than I did before surgery.

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